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It's time to start respecting Phillies' Odubel Herrera

Once the butt of jokes, the Phillies' centerfielder is starting to play like a All-Star again.

Odubel Herrera is riding a 16-game hitting streak, the longest by a Phillies player in over 10 years.

Yet, Herrera isn’t receiving the respect from the national or even local market. Despite his antics and occasional lapse of judgment, Herrera is one of the game’s best outfielders but isn’t being viewed in that regard.

Since the All-Star break, only Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon has a higher average in the National League. During that span, however, a quick poll of Phillies fan would suggest that it’s time to move on from Herrera and his errant miscues or unnecessary bat flips. There were even fans calling for him to be moved at the deadline.

Quite frankly, though, Herrera is shining as one of the game’s best young players despite the cold shoulder thrown his way.

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In 2016, Herrera was chosen to his first All-Star game. In that season, he finished with a .286 average with 49 RBI and 21 doubles. Right now, Herrera is sitting above that .286 average while belting a league-best 35 doubles – 14 more than last season – and will certainly well exceed last year’s RBI total.

So, yes, Herrera is having an all-star caliber season even if the naysayers suggest otherwise.

There are certainly moments in which Herrera becomes frustratingly painful to watch. Take Sunday’s game for example where he ran from second to third base despite Freddy Galvis holding up and remaining on third. This resulted in an easy out for the New York Mets as Herrera was the two runners both stood on the bag, resulting in the Phillies scoring just one run in what could have been a huge inning.

Moments like that have diminished his value in the minds of the fans, although they really shouldn’t. It’s perfectly fine to be annoyed in the moment, but overall, Herrera has been this team’s best player and the numbers are there to back that up.

While the likes of Nick Williams, Rhys Hoskins and the rest of the youth start to slowly trickle up and garner the attention, let’s not completely forget the impact of Herrera. He has been one of the few bright spots on this team over the past two seasons, even if a select few fans choose to believe otherwise.

 
 
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